Although it has been acknowledged that the early European Christian missionaries to Africa have contributed significantly to the emergence and growth of Christianity on the continent, it is also obvious that the ethnocentric tendencies that accompanied their missionary zeal caused them to demonize many aspects of the African cultures. This demonization led to a long-standing debate among African Christians themselves on whether one can be truly African and truly Christian. Despite the fact that the situation seems to have improved greatly in contemporary times, one of the key areas of contention within African Christianity, which has persisted to date, is the chieftaincy institution. To the best of my knowledge however, not much has been researched in this field from Pentecostal perspectives. Using personal observations and participation in Christian Royal conferences as well as personal conversations with some Pentecostal church leaders and some royals in Ghana, this paper examines the functions of the traditional oath swearing for Christians who are chiefs. The paper argues that although, the oath swearing by itself is not inimical to Christian beliefs, Christians who swear oaths should be mindful of the deity invoked in the swearing process. The paper also recommends that to be able to transform unethical and unscriptural aspects of traditional practices and make disciples of all nations, Pentecostal Christians should not be ignorant of traditional practices within their communities. These include the traditional oath swearing, which is the focus of this paper. The paper is therefore an attempt to initiate an important dialogue among African Pentecostals, both scholars and practitioners, on the subject of Christianity and chieftaincy within contemporary times.
Keywords: Oath swearing, African, Pentecostal, chieftaincy
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